Cabinet approves major rehabilitation of Tamale Teaching Hospital

Cabinet has approved for consideration of parliament, a loan of 28 million Euros for major rehabilitation and upgrading works at the Tamale Teaching Hospital. The works, when started, will be completed in 56 months, but according to the Minister for Information Mrs. Zita Okaikoi, "the design, construction, and installation of medical equipment required for the hospital to be commissioned will be ready within thirty-two months". A statement from the Ministry of Information said in approving the 28 million-Euro loan from the Fortis Bank N.V. of the Netherlands, Cabinet took note of the fact that the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which is the only major referral hospital serving the entire northern belt "has over the years experienced major decline, lost many specialist medical staff, deterioration of infrastructure and depletion in equipment stock". Commissioned in 1974, the general lack of maintenance and no major rehabilitation has left the main complex comprising the OPD, tower and technical blocks in a state of severe disrepair. Other structures at the hospital have either not been completed or have developed serious structural problems that pose threats to both staff and patients. Mrs. Okaikoi noted that the hospital which now served as the principal teaching facility for the faculty of medicine of the University of Development Studies would eventually have 1,000 beds when the second phase of the planned master-plan for the hospital is completed. "The new Tamale hospital will have all key functional services consolidated in one new 4-storey building located at the eastern front side of the existing hospital," the Minister explained. It said this new structure would be linked to the old structure through a transfer block and using a new entrance for patients, visitors and staff. There would also be a separate entrance to the administrative offices on top of the existing OPD. Mrs Okaikoi said the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Tamale Hospital, which had for years been of concern to Ghanaians in the northern belt, would increase the capacity of health care services in the area. The modern equipment and adequate facilities would enable the hospital to function appropriately as a tertiary care level hospital with teaching facilities. "One of the major problems has been the retention of qualified staff and government is confident that on completion of the rehabilitation, the Tamale Teaching Hospital will attract and retain qualified specialist staff. Also important is the fact that there will be permanent and sufficient water supply to the hospital." The statement reiterated the government's commitment to ensuring an improvement in the living standards and access to health facilities across the country.